Wyden addresses healthcare at Hillsboro town hall

Concerned citizens shared their stories

Ron Wyden spoke to a crowd at a town hall meeting at Liberty High School in Hillsboro on May 6, 2017. (KOIN)

HILLSBORO, Ore. (KOIN) — Senator Ron Wyden talked about healthcare when he greets voters at a town hall meeting in Hillsboro Saturday evening.

The bill to repeal and replace Obamacare passed in the House earlier this week, leaving many concerned about losing their healthcare coverage.

Stories from those concerned about disappearing Medicaid coverage echoes through the meeting at Liberty High School.

Kassiane Asasumasu said she’d lose access to expensive medication for epilepsy and another disorder if medicaid cuts happen.

“Cutting Medicaid forces more of us into institutions,” Asasumasu said. “I take $1,000 a month worth of medications.”

Wyden said the American Health Care Act is “unfair” and would destroy protections for pre-existing conditions.

“The bill would allow states to waive the protection people have from discrimination from pre-existing conditions,” he said. “Once you do that, you take America back to the days where healthcare was for the healthy and wealthy.”

He said it gives a tax break from the Medicare tax for couples who make more than $250,000 a year or singles who make $200,000.

“Every time an Oregonian gets a paycheck, they will see on that paycheck a Medicare tax,” Wyden said.

At the same time, Wyden said, it cuts the Medicaid program by around $800 billion.

He said seniors would be particularly hard hit by medicaid cuts, saying 2 out of three people who are currently staying in nursing homes are paid for by medicaid.

Wyden vowed to fight the ACHA, which will be voted on by the Senate.

“I intend to spend a big chunk of my waking hours, night and day, fighting this House proposal,” Wyden said.